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Seahawks release CB Dontae Johnson from injured reserve

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks apparently are so confident in rookie cornerback Tre Flowers that they’re not going to wait for Dontae Johnson to come off injured reserve. Instead, the team has decided to release him.

Johnson was placed on IR after injuring his groin in practice the week of Seattle’s 2018 NFL season opener against the Denver Broncos. Stashing him there meant that the former San Francisco 49ers starter would not be able to return to the team until Week 10 at the earliest. He was projected to be the Seahawks’ starting right cornerback, but his injury led to Flowers becoming the starter, and Akeem King got elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.

After a difficult debut and then missing Week 2 against the Chicago Bears — King got the start and was beaten for a touchdown in the 4th quarter — Flowers had a solid performance against the Dallas Cowboys, including what was effectively a pass break-up on Michael Gallup that led to Earl Thomas’ first interception of the game. The former Oklahoma State safety now has the starting job totally locked up.

This is certainly a turn of events for the Seahawks in terms of cornerback depth. The team had entered preseason with Byron Maxwell and Dontae Johnson as the presumptive favorites, but both men went on IR, and both men are now free agents.